Business support

How to run your business safely

Follow these five steps to ensure your business is working safely:

1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:

  • carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance (opens in new window)
  • consulting with your workers or trade unions
  • sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website.

2. Develop cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures

You should increase the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning by:

  • encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene (opens in new window)
  • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers.

3. Help people to work from home

You should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

  • discussing home working arrangements
  • ensuring they have the right equipment, for example remote access to work systems
  • including them in all necessary communications
  • looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.

4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

  • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • avoiding sharing workstations
  • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible.

5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Where it’s not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • staggering arrival and departure times
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’.

Make sure you read all the guides on the GOV.UK website (opens in new window) relevant to your workplace. Each guide has specific actions for businesses to take based on these steps. Further guidance will be published as more businesses are able to reopen.

Further guidance

In addition to government guidance, we have delivered leaflets to businesses across the district which include the following points:

  • Ensure social distancing arrangement outside of your business premises do not cause a problem for other premises or obstruct the street.
  • Supply face coverings to employees where possible.
  • Make sure your premises is well ventilated.
  • Inspect your premises before opening for signs of pest activity or damage.
  • Check for Legionella bacteria in all water supplies or air-conditioning units which may have been turned off for a while.

Further information:

COVID-19 reopening guidance for businesses (opens in new window)

COVID-19 reopening guidance for the hospitality industry (opens in new window)

Other government guidance:

Cleaning of non-healthcare settings (opens in new window)

Businesses that should be closed (opens in new window)

Reopening guidance for shops and branches (opens in new window)